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Old 01-26-2012, 03:27 PM
ChiaraC's Avatar
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Here is a nice article about naming customs in Japan. Before the war, there was obviously a habit of using kanji characters linked to the name of the emperor´s reign: In 1912, when Emperor Meiji passed away and the reign of Emperor Taisho began, the most popular name for boys was
Shoichi (正一), which features the shō (正) character, meaning "right" or "just," from the Emperor's name. To that was added ichi (一), which means "one," signifying the first year of the Taisho Era (1912-26). Not surprisingly, the following year's most popular name for baby boys was Shoji (正二), comprising the same kanji character from the name of the Emperor with (二), which means "two," tagged on instead. Then, with startling predictability, the name that topped the popularity ranking for boys born in 1914, the third year of the Taisho Era, was Shozo (正三), since the character 三 means "three." Meanwhile, the most popular name for girls born in 1913 was Masako (正子), because that same kanji "正" can also be read as "masa."
Likewise, the death of Emperor Taisho and the subsequent ascent to the Imperial throne of Emperor Hirohito (known posthumously in Japan as Emperor Showa), on Dec. 25, 1926, resulted in a rush of parents naming their sons after him, with a spike in the names of babies bearing the kanji 昭 (shō), meaning "bright" or "calm," from 昭和 (shōwa), a compound kanji taken from the teachings of Confucius that translates as "calm and peaceful."

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Old 01-31-2012, 12:07 PM
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“How are Japanese Emperors named?”

Someone who was writing a novel for the National Novel Writing Month wanted to know in a forum: “How are Japanese Emperors named?” because, as he said, in his story “the now-princess Aiko will become Empress of Japan in a few decades“ and he needs to know if she will „be Empress Aiko, or have a different name?“

The answers make a nice thread where you can learn a lot about the naming of Japanese royals (Why is Princess Aiko called Princess Toshi?) and also read some gossip as there is also a reporter taking part in the conversation who lives in Chiba, Japan and “did a lot of work covering the family. I was there when they announced that Hisahito had been born and was a boy. I've also been on the palace grounds several times for royal family news conferences.“ Some quotes from her:

The Japanese royal family has had gradually increasing fertility problems. There has been at least one male in every generation since Emperor Hirohito who has never had children. Luckily for Naruhito, who does seem like a sweet (if geeky) guy, ART (assisted reproductive techniques) came along in time for him. It's a widely-believed secret that he and Masako did do IVF -- eight years married before the first child, seven or six before the first pregnancy (which she lost) -- either that's assisted, or they finally got lucky. Also, somebody I know once saw Masako at a hospital famous for its fertility treatments -- which, incidentally, was the hospital where Kiko was hospitalised on bedrest and where Hisahito was born. We have no idea if Kiko had IVF or some sort of assistance; given her age (she was 40 when Hisahito was born) either is about equally possible.

IVF can't be talked about in connection with the royal family in Japan, though. Even Kiko's C-section with Hisahito was a big deal to some people. They also chose to give birth to him in a real hospital rather than the palace hospital, which was unprecedented.

As for Hisahito, I don't think he'd end up with psychological problems knowing he'd been born to be Emperor. First, he's obviously being cherished simply as a child. Second, he's a very, very important member of the family. I'd be surprised if he didn't grow up with a huge superiority complex.
A few more tidbits on the royals, thanks to a women's gossip magazine:
1. The Emperor, Princess Masako and Prince Akishino all have driver's licenses. None of them drive outside the palace, of course. The Emperor apparently really likes cars.
2. The Crown Prince enjoyed eating at McDonald's during his time abroad at Oxford. He and Masako have occasionally ordered pizza to be delivered to the palace -- an image I just love!
3. The Imperial Family has always been relatively computer-savvy and got into computers and the internet fairly early. Not surprising, considering their lack of freedom.
Masako, if you remember, is a former diplomat. She was one of the elite of the elite in the Foreign Ministry -- trips overseas, interpreting for visiting dignitaries. I got to know a lot of those people fairly well -- they're articulate, well-educated, bright, and often very funny. If I imagine one of them suddenly plunked down into palace life...well, it really brings home the adjustment Masako had to make.
Empress Michiko caught a lot of flak too, but she at least was lucky enough to have the Crown Prince a year after her marriage and Akishino not too long after that, though I think there was a miscarriage in between. When she was leaving the hospital with the newborn Naruhito, she opened the car window a bit to let photographers get a glimpse of him. There's a classic picture of her with an old battleaxe of a courtier sitting there glaring at her...apparently they thought this would "endanger" the baby. (It was February, all right, but he did look pretty well wrapped).

Michiko suffered a lot of bullying from courtiers and came close to a nervous breakdown, or actually had one; she lost a lot of weight at one point in the first ten years of her marriage. Oddly, this doesn't seem to have made her all that sympathetic to Masako, as far as can be seen -- there have been some comments hinting at "I got over it, so why don't you." Of course, Michiko did have the two boys quite quickly, so she was then given a fair bit of leeway that Masako didn't get. Her foreign trips were literally limited in hopes that she'd get if that was the problem.

Ther's hints that the Crown Prince family is a bit estranged from the Emperor and Empress. Partly it's just that Michiko I think has never really understood Masako's longing for a career -- she was a commoner, but in the 50s nice rich girls like her were of course bred to expect nothing but motherhood -- and Kiko has always been the same way. In fact, my feeling is that Kiko is a little bit scheming -- apparently she set her cap for "a prince" from high school. (Her dad was a Gakushuin prof, so she was in the schools and knew Akishino from high school.) She drives me crazy -- always standing and smiling this "Stepford wife" smile. I was really, really hoping Hisahito would be a girl.
As they are all writing people in that forum, the associations they make are sometimes quite interesting. Regarding Princess Aiko (whose given name means “child of love”) someone says:
an anime I love has a princess MC who is proud because she is a child of love (in a world where combining DNA to create a child is more of a calculation of prestige and importance then a romance... so there are few parents who actually love each other) maybe she's based off Aiko... that's cool)

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Old 02-25-2014, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 1
Anyone know Michiko's speech for her university graduation?

Hello. I have been looking for the graduation speech of Michiko Shoda as a valedictorian in 1956. If anyone knew it, please teach me!

Thank you!
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Oakland, United States
Posts: 20
Some information that might surprise some people:

...Since we are talking about the Chrysanthemum Throne, well...


Don't believe me?!

View the information in this post by myself!!

ALL Japanese were, & still are considered descendants of various Kami, but the Imperial Family were, & still are, considered to be descended from 1 of the MOST PROMINENT Kami, & it is such a despicable act of hypocrisy to tell the Mikado to "renounce" his sacred status, & to NOT pressure Christians, (especially the ultra-fundamentalist/fundamentalist types), to admit that the Christian Messiah ISN'T the "only-begotten" son of the divine, or the "only way to salvation"!!

Christianity is still true, but no more, (& no less), true than any other spiritual belief-system!!

SIDE-NOTE: I'm fairly certain that the Imperial Family of Japan IS DESCENDED FROM AMATERASU!!

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Old 09-07-2014, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Oakland, United States
Posts: 20
The Mikado is STILL regarded as a direct descendant of Amaterasu!!

Originally Posted by Tuf Pic, via Private Message, on another forum
Dear Link the Zora:

I have wanted to say this for a while, but the popular western interpretation of the Showa Mikado's "denial of divinity" is WRONG...

Humanity Declaration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

While the following quote may sound arrogant,

Originally Posted by Showa Mikado
It is permissible to say that the idea that the Japanese are descendants of the gods is a false conception; but it is absolutely impermissible to call chimerical the idea that the emperor is a descendant of the gods.

Notice that he never says outright that they are NOT DESCENDANTS OF THE KAMI, he merely says it is PERMISSIBLE TO SAY THEY AREN'T!!

Seems far less arrogant than this:

Originally Posted by The Nicene Creed
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

I mean, he can't be the ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, because, weren't we all "made in God's image"?!

Also, check out this link:

BBC - Religions - Shinto: Divinity of the Emperor...

In addition, these quotes are from The Complete Idiot's Guide To The World's Religions:

Originally Posted by Section on Shinto, in previously mentioned book
Although there is no deity regarded as supreme over all kami, the sun goddess Amaterasu is accorded a high rank. Within Shinto, the emperor of Japan (whose temporal power has undergone many fluctuations over the centuries) is regarded as a direct descendant of Amaterasu.

It also mentions Hirohito's "renunciation of divinity", but only 1 time, ...&...

This is in "The Least You Need To Know" section, that concludes every chapter in "The Complete Idiot's Guide" series...

Originally Posted by Summarizing Shinto
Preeminent among the innumerable kami is Amaterasu, the sun-goddess, regarded as the source of the dynastic line of Japanese emperors.

All emphasis is by myself...


I'm fairly confident he is!!

Thought you should know about all of this!!
I figured I'd start a thread about the Mikado's divine descent, (rather than being a full-blown deity in his own right)!!

See above quote!!

Also, view my posts, here, & here!!

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